Equality and Diversity Management Inside the Institutions of the European Union
A Corpus Linguistic Analysis of Their Human Resources Legal Framework
The aim of this paper is to analyse the legal framework regulating the careers of civil servants working for the EU institutions and reveal how the values of equality and diversity are communicated and embedded in their daily lives. The research examines the English language used in the HR legal framework of the EU institutions and explores the linguistic aspects related to equality and diversity management and inclusive language.
The starting point of this research is the idea that the European Union is based on the values of democracy, the rules of law and the equal treatment of its citizen, who are celebrated for their diversity. It is thus highly relevant to look at the EU in action and see if it is consistent in the understanding and application of these values.
The methodological approach of this research entailed the creation and analysis of a unique corpus composed of all the applicable HR legal provisions in force within the EU institutions, and the examination of the linguistic features (word lists by frequency, concordances, collocations and lexical bundles) of the terminology related to four different areas of equality and diversity – the LGBTI community, gender, the elderly and persons with a disability – with the final aim to take stock of the related developments in the use of the English language.
The results indicate that the language used in the EU HRM legal framework is not in line with the EU values of equality and diversity, and the research concludes with highlighting possible improvements of the language used in the corpus.
ALVESSON, Mats/Dan KARREMAN (2000) Varieties of Discourse: on the study of organizations through Discourse Analysis, Human Relations Vol. 53(9), 1125–1149.
ANTHONY, Lawrence (2013a) Developing AntConc for a new generation of corpus linguists. Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics Conference (CL 2013), July 22–26, 2013. Lancaster University, 14–16.
ANTHONY, Lawrence (2013b) A critical look at software tools in corpus linguistics. Linguistic Research Vol. 30(2), 141–161.
BAISA, Vít/Jan MICHELFEIT/Marek MEDVEĎ/Miloš JAKUBÍČEK (2016) European Union Language Resources in Sketch Engine. In The Proceedings of Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC’16). European Language Resources Association (ELRA). Portorož, Slovenia. Available at: https://www.sketchengine.eu/wp-content/uploads/eur_lex_2016.pdf [Accessed on 15 May 2020].
BAKER, Paul (2005) Public Discourses of gay men. London: Routledge.
BAKER, Paul (2006) Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum.
BAKER, Paul (2010) Sociolinguistics and Corpus Linguistics. Edinburg: Edinburg University Press.
BAKER, Paul (2014) Using corpora to analyse gender. London: Bloomsbury.
BAKER, Paul (2018) Language, sexuality and corpus linguistics. In Motschenbacher, H. (Ed.) Corpus linguistics in language and sexuality studies: developments and prospects, Journal of Language and Sexuality, Vol. 7(2), 263–279. DOI: 10.1075/jls.17018.bak.
BARONE, Linda (2005) La lingua inglese delle istituzioni europee: standardizzazione, armonizzazione o approssimazione? Salerno: Laveglia.
BHATIA, Vijay (1983) Simplification vs easification: the case of legal texts. Applied Linguistics, Vol. 4(1), 42–54.
BHATIA, Vijay (1993) Analysing genre: language use in professional setting. London: Longman.
BRÉDA, Cathy/Miguel DELATTRE/Rodolphe OCLER (2008) The story behind identities: from corporate discourse to individual recognition. Tamara journal of critical postmodern organization science, Vol.7 (1). Warsaw: Kozminski University.
BREIDBACH, Stephan (2003) Plurilingualism, democratic citizenship in Europe and the role of English. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/. [Accessed 15 May 2020].
CENOZ, Jasone (2013) Defining Multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 33, 3–18. DOI: 10.1017/S026719051300007X.
COOREN, François (2004) Textual agency: how texts do things in organizational settings. SAGE Journals, Vol. 11(3). London: Sage.
CRAWFORD, Williams/Eniko CSOMAY (2016) Doing Corpus Linguistics. New York: Routledge.
ECKERT, Penelope/Sally MCCONNELL-GINET (2003) Language and Gender. New York: Cambridge University Press.
EDWARD, John (2009) Language and identity: an introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
European Council (1962). Regulation no 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
European Parliament (2000). Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
FUERTES-OLIVERA, Pedro (2007) A corpus-based view of lexical gender in written Business English. English for Specific Purposes Vol. 26, 219–234. DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2006.07.001.
GABRIELATOS, Costas (2018) Keyness Analysis: nature, metrics and techniques. In Taylor, C. & Marchi, A. (Ed.), Corpus approaches to discourse: a critical review. Oxford: Routledge.
GIBOVÁ, Klaudia (2011) On modality in EU institutional-legal texts in Kačmárová, A. (Ed.) English Matters II, 6–12. Prešov: Prešovská Univerzita.
GRUE, Jan (2014). Disability and discourse analysis. London: Routledge.
KJELLMER, Göran (1986) ‘The lesser man’: observations on the role of women in modern English writing. In Arts, J. & Meijs, W. (Ed.), Corpus Linguistics II, 163–176. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
HATCH, Mary Jo/ Ann CUNLIFFE (2006) Organization theory: modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
HANKIVSKY, Olena (2013) The lexicon of mainstreaming equality: Gender-Based Analysis (GBA), Gender and Diversity Analysis (GDA) and Intersectionality Based Analysis (IBA). Canadian Political Science Review, Vol. 6(2–3), 171–183. Available at: https://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/cpsr/article/view/278. [Accessed on 15 May 2020].
HYLAND, Ken/Meng HUAT/Micheal HANDFORD (2012) Corpus applications in applied linguistics. London: Continuum.
HOLMES, Janet (2015) Discourse in the Workplace. In Schiffrin, D., Tannen, D. & Hamilton, H.E. (Ed.), The handbook of Discourse Analysis, Second Edition. Hoboken: Wiley Online Library. DOI: 10.1002/9781118584194.ch41.
HORD, Levi (2016) Bucking the linguistic binary: gender-neutral language in English, Swedish, French, and German. Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western Vol. 3(4). Available at: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/wpl_clw/vol3/iss1/4 [Accessed on 15 May 2020].
HUMMERT, Mary-Lee/Teri GARSTKA/ Ellen RYAN/ Jaye BONNESEN (2004) The role of age stereotypes in interpersonal communication. In Nussbaum J. F. & Harwood J. (Ed.) The Handbook of Communication and Aging, 91–114. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
HUNSTON, Susan (2002) Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
MANUTI, Amelia/ Giuseppe MINNINI (2015) Analysing human resource managers’ discourse on diversity: a study in some Italian small and medium enterprises. Psicoperspectivas Vol. 14(1), 126–136. Valparaíso: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.
MAUTNER, Gerlinde (2007) Mining large corpora for social information: the case of elderly. Language in Society Vol. 36(1), 51–72. DOI:10.1017/S0047404507070030.
MORGAN, Gareth (2006) Images of Organization. London: Sage.
MARMOR, Andrei (2008) The pragmatics of legal language. Ratio Juris, Vol 21(4), 423–452. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9337.2008.00400.x.
MAUREL, Olivier (2008) La responsabilité des entreprises en matiere de droits de l’homme. Paris: Documentation Française.
MOON, Rosamund (2014) From gorgeous to grumpy: adjectives, age, and gender. Gender and language Vol. 8(1), 8–41. DOI: 10.1558/genl.v8i1.5.
PEARCE, Michael (2008) Investigating the collocational behaviour of man and woman in the BNC using Sketch Engine. Corpora Vol. 3(1). 1–29. DOI: 10.3366/E174950320800004X.
SEARLE, John (1995) The construction of social reality. New York: The Free Press.
SINCLAIR, John (1997) Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
STEINBERGER, Ralph/Mohamed EBRAHIM/Alexandros POULIS/Manuel CARRASCO-BENITEZ/Patrick SCHLÜTER/Marek PRZYBYSZEWSKI/Signe GILBRO (2013) An overview of the European Union’s highly multilingual parallel corpora. Journal Language Resources and Evaluation Vol. 48(4), 679–707. DOI: 10.1007/s10579-014-9277-0.
STUBB, Michael (1996) Text and Corpus Analysis. London: Blackwell.
STUBB, Michael (2001) Words and phrases: corpus studies of lexical semantics. London: Blackwell.
TATLI, Ahu (2011) A multi-layered exploration of the diversity management field: diversity discourses. British Journal of Management Vol. 22, 238–253. Hoboken: Wiley Online Library. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2010.00730.x.
TAYLOR, Charlotte (2013) Searching for similarity using corpus-assisted discourse studies. Corpora Vol. 8(1), 81–113. DOI: 10.3366/cor.2013.0035.
TREBITS, Anna (2008) English lexis in the documents of the EU: a corpus-based exploratory study. Working Papers in Language Pedagogy 2, 38–54. Available at: http://langped.elte.hu/WoPaLParticles/W2Trebits.pdf [Accessed on 15 May 2020].
VEFALI, Gülşen Musayeva/ Fulya ERDENTUĞ (2010) The coordinate structures in a corpus of New Age talks: ‘man and woman’/‘woman and man’. Text & Talk – an interdisciplinary journal of language, discourse & communication studies Vol. 30(4), 465–484. DOI: 10.1515/TEXT.2010.023.
WAGNER, Claudia/David GARCIA/Mohsen JADIDI/Markus STROHMAIER (2015) It’s a Man’s Wikipedia? Assessing gender inequality in an online encyclopaedia. In Proceedings of the Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/05e1/0638aab94ca0d46ddde8083ff69859a0401e.pdf [Accessed on 15 May 2020].
Copyright (c) 2020 Silvia Manessi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Journal for Foreign Languages by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the publisher right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.